Showing posts from March, 2014

Weekend Unschooling Opportunities

Since we began homeschooling and I started reading and learning about unschooling,  I find that we learn at all times of the day and night, every day of the year.  All kids have a way of teaching themselves and learning more about the world around them every single day.  If you look for it you can see and hear new ways in which they develop they skills.  Sometimes it's something as simple as a child asking what a new (to them) word means, sometimes it's a skill they've been working on and have finally mastered,  and sometimes it's something more subtle that you only notice as time has passed and you look back thinking about how much they have changed. We started our weekend with another Karate class.  Alec and Evan wanted to head back to the dojang on Saturday and participate in another class. On the way they brought their DS games which had Alec working on vocabulary words since his Pok√©mon game asked him to pick a work that best describes himself he could choose betwe

Taking Off With Math; How My Boys Show Me What They've Learned In Math

My boys are really growing in their skills and today I really noticed all the ways in which they are applying and learning math skills. The older boys wanted to start with their math minute and Ian was thrilled that he passed his 8 times tables and has only his 9's and 12 times tables left.  That ice cream party is so close he can almost taste it! While they worked on that Evan asked if he could to the dot to dot on the computer but counting by ones instead of by two's.  So I went back to ABCya! and found him the dot to dot page. Alec moved onto to his math workbook and knew what he needed to do for his next page while Ian and I worked a bit with our fraction tiles.  I was showing him (& asking him to show me) equivalent fractions. From there we moved onto reducing fractions, which was today's lesson in his workbook. He struggled with it a bit mostly because he's afraid to make mistakes.  We talked about that being a part of learning and I think I ma

A Very Easy Day with Short, Simple Lessons

We had planned on heading out to a game day with our homeschool group and I knew I wanted the older boys to work on one page in their new math workbooks while Evan and I would play a sight word game and read a book together. That's all the schoolwork I had planned.  I figured we'd keep it short and simple today! I believe in keeping most of our lessons short and sweet.  I know that my boys don't always have the longest attention span and after 10 minutes or so they are not really paying attention anymore. I know that my boys are more willing to work when I am not expecting more than they can give me. I know that a lot of learning can happen when you add up short lessons over time.  I know that not all learning has to happen through books or through my teaching so I plan  just a few short activities for us to do and then follow the boys lead for the rest of our day.    Knowing I didn't have much planned I wasn't worried about starting school that early this morning. 

Combining Movies and Hands on Activities for Optimal Learning

Woohoo! We started school at 9 this morning!  We set a goal to start school easier and today we managed to hold ourselves to that goal...  We're still trying o incorporate a lot of games and hands on learning opportunities and decided to add quite a few movies into our day too. Evan came downstairs around 9 after having helped clean the bathrooms and playing with his Lego's for a bit and asked if we could start school. I showed him a computer game I found on ABCya! where he can connect the dots while counting by 2's.  He was excited to try this game and did really well with it.  I stayed nearby in case he needed help but he managed to count all the way to 100 by 2's without any difficulty. He enjoyed it so much he asked me to save it on the computer so he could play it again another time.  I only wish they had more pictures to choose from. Evan picked out another book to read to me and I was impressed that he knew the title "Best Friends" without seeming lik

Magnets, Movies, and Games Make Us Happy

The boys all happily playing in one room together with all their Lego sets I was not anxious to interrupt them and start school.  They had been so helpful with all the housework this morning that I didn't mind letting them have free time to play.  I love days when they're all getting along and everyone is smiling and happy. When the boys came down to start school the first thing they noticed was the magnets and metal pieces I had put out.  They were drawn to this simple science play and spent a long time playing with all the magnets. They tried shaking the magnets once things were stuck to them to see if they could get them to fall back off.   They tried sticking all the magnets to each other.   They used the magnets to pick up the metal pieces and move them all around.   We discovered it was really hard to get the metal shards and pieces off the magnets! "it's all hairy!" The older boys settled in for some math fun-- I had written answers onto each bubble of some

Using A Family Meeting To Guide Our Homeschool Journey

After feeling like I have been in turmoil over how our schooling is going lately we started out our week with an informal family meeting. I try to have these family meetings with the boy every few months; or at least a few times a year.  It helps us all to sit back and evaluate what we like and what we don't like about our homeschooling days and routines.   Well, I guess it isn't really a  family meeting since my husband was already at work, but since he supports us no matter what we do we don't often include him.  I sat down with the boys and talk to them about how we're all feeling about school lately. I asked them for their input:  Their only complaint was that they don't get unlimited time (or more time) to play video games.  Evan begged to keep reading to me each day and wants to continue working on sight words, adding, and "taking away" so we're all set there.  Ian didn't have any input about  anything he wanted to change.  He's probabl